Homeschool officially start on Monday and I have to say that overall, the week went pretty well. The first day was a little rough, especially in the morning, but in the afternoon it was a lot better. I seemed to have a hard time trying to slowly move into doing school work instead of just playing all day. I also didn’t want them to be overwhelmed with a huge amount of information being thrown at them all at once. So it took a few days to really get into the groove, although we still have a long way to go to really find a groove, we are definitely in the learning stage and no longer in the summer stage of doing nothing.
Some things that I have already seen a pattern in are our mornings. We start the day with a morning walk outside. Its short, but I really like starting our day like this. It’s some fresh air first thing, and it lets them run around a little bit first. Once we come back from our walk, we have been doing circle time. I start the circle time with a little verse which they have already memorized, and then we do some learning games and sing some songs. Everyone seems to really like it, so I will keep the walk and circle time going. After circle time we move into our main lesson learning. Right now we are doing a 2 week math block in order to try and play catch up before we start our 2nd grade math curriculum. In the Waldorf School, first graders are taught all four processes of math and by the end of the year should know their 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s times tables. Since the girls don’t know them and have never even done multiplication or division, I want to spend some time teaching it to them. I also want to break up our “catch-up” math block into two, so instead of doing a 4 week math block, I am going to break it up into two 2 week blocks to give them a break. So next week we are finishing up some math, and then taking a small weekend trip to Jacksonville for my grandmothers 80th birthday. So when we come back we will dive into the Saints and Heroes stories. I’m not quite sure how Hailey will do with this as she is not the best listener when it comes to being read too, but, the beauty of my approach this time is to not have my heart set on anything, and if I see that it’s just not working, I will be fine with putting it down and making that 2 week block about something else.
So besides math, we have started our cursive lessons with the girls learning how to write the letter A. We have also read almost every day from McGuffey’s Eclectic Reader, and I have been reading the first book in the Little House series, “The Little House in the Big Woods”. We started our “My Body” project by creating an outline of their body then learning and coloring the brain and heart. We will do all the organs, muscles, and bones. Once we are complete, everything will be glued in the proper place. I think the finished result will be cool.
We made it to the Library too, and the girls picked out some great books. Hailey picked out Pinkalicious and now she has been asking to make pink cupcakes, so I think we will do that this weekend. Speaking of baking, my goal is bake some bread every week, so this past week we made no-knead bread. It turned out really tasty, but having to wait almost a whole day for it to rise was a little annoying. Next week I want to make some Italian bread with them. They really enjoy it and are learning about measurements and what certain ingredients do.
On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons Luis has been taking over and doing his thing with the kids. He whipped out the Legos on Tuesday and had them build cars, boats, and houses. While they felt like they were playing, they were also learning, which is a perfect combination. On Thursday he took them to Goodwill to pick out a toy that they then took apart to see the mechanics and the workings of it. They learning about battery volts and what they do compared to its size. They also put the toy back together.
I’m sure I have forgotten some things that we have done, but while I look back and feel that I may have not done enough, when I write it down, it looks like we have had some pretty productive days. So this week was successful, but there were still many moments that were stressful. Hailey is going to be the tough one. She has pretty much given me a hard time about almost every single thing we have done. I truly believe that school has ruined her ability to enjoy learning. She views it as hard and negative no matter what it may be. Her preconceived notions are understandable, but really make it hard. This is the exact reason why I quit homeschooling her last time. It was just so difficult. I do know more now than I did last time, so I have that going for me and I don’t feel discouraged yet, but I pray that I never do. I see how eager Lilly is to learn and how fast she grasps new concepts, so I know that homeschooling doesn’t have to be a daily struggle, but it is for Hailey and me. I just hope that we can push through it and find a good balance. She needs to build trust in me and the whole learning process. It doesn’t have to be so bad, so I hope she finds out about that little secret soon.